7 Best Muscle Scraping Tools In 2023 (Compared By A Physio)

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Knowing which muscle scraping tools to invest in can honestly be pretty challenging…

There’s a ton of different brands with tools of all shapes and sizes, and prices vary a lot.

As a physiotherapist with almost a decade of experience treating patients, I’ve spent the last few months doing a deep dive into the subject of muscle scraping (or IASTM/Graston Technique).

I’ve been able to test and compare some of the most popular muscle scraping tools and have come up with a list of 7 different IASTM tools that are ideal for a range of different purposes.

Best Muscle Scraping Tools – At A Glance

  1. Most Popular Tool – Sidekick Swerve
  2. Most Versatile Tool – Sidekick Echo
  3. Best For Legs – Sidekick Bow
  4. Best Kit – Stickon Muscle Scraping Kit
  5. Best Budget Tool – Sidekick Curve
  6. Best For Professionals – Graston Technique Instruments
  7. Best Lubricant – Graston Soft Tissue Emollient
Sidekick Swerve Tool

MOST POPULAR TOOL

SIDEKICK

Sidekick Bow Tool

BEST TOOL FOR LEGS

Bow

SIDEKICK

Stickon Muscle Scraping Tool Kit

BEST MUSCLE SCRAPING KIT

STICKON

Click here to learn more about the process I used to compile this list.

My objective with this article is to help you choose the best muscle scraping tool for your own individual needs, regardless of whether you’re an athlete or physical therapist.

Let’s begin!

Most Popular Tool

Sidekick Swerve Tool

Sidekick Swerve Tool

The Swerve tool from Sidekick is extremely versatile, super durable, and is my top recommendation for any athletes looking to start muscle scraping at home.

Most Popular Muscle Scraping Tool

The Swerve tool is Sidekick’s most popular muscle scraper because of its durable stainless steel design (better than Stone tools) combined with its super affordable price tag.

This tool works exceptionally well for upper body muscle groups such as the neck, shoulders, forearms, triceps, and chest, but also does a great job on the lower legs.

If you’re an athlete looking for a super affordable way to improve your rate of recovery, mobility, or rehab an injury, the Swerve is a fantastic choice.

Also be sure to check out my full review/comparison of the Sidekick muscle scraping tools!

The Good

Made from stainless steel, so it’s virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime!

Super versatile and can be used on a huge range of muscle groups.

Significantly more affordable than the equivalent Graston Technique instruments.

The Bad

There’s really nothing I don’t like about the Swerve tool!

Most Versatile

Sidekick Echo Muscle Scraping Tool

Sidekick Echo Tool

The Echo tool is a slightly heavier, slightly longer, more heavy-duty version of the Swerve and wins my recommendation as the ‘best overall’ muscle scraping tool!

Most Versatile Muscle Scraping Tool

Because of its increased length as well as its anti-fatique grip, the Echo is the perfect implement for those hard-to-reach places such as your neck, triceps, and shoulders.

Because of its increased length, the Echo can also be used on your legs and thighs, meaning you can use this thing on virtually any body part and it’ll do the job exceptionally well!

I recommend this tool for advanced athletes who want to start muscle scraping regularly, as well as therapists who want a heavy-duty all-rounder tool to give their hands some much needed rest.

The Good

Longer and more heavy-duty than similarly shaped tools.

Duel-bevelled edges allow you to scrape in multiple directions, making it super easy to use.

Anti-fatigue grip makes it a fantastic option for physiotherapists treating a large number of patients.

Being able to reach a wider range of muscle groups, the Echo is the best all-rounder.

The Bad

Slightly more expensive than the Swerve/Curve tools.

Best For Legs

Sidekick Bow Muscle Scraping Tool

Sidekick Bow Tool

The Bow tool is easily the best option for your legs as it’s much longer, allowing you to cover significantly more surface area than the smaller tools.

Best Muscle Scraping Tool For Athletes

There’s no better way to recover from a brutal leg day than by breaking out the Sidekick Bow tool.

This thing is 19″ in length and has handles on either side, making it ideal for hitting your quads, hammies, calves, and ITB.

For anyone training legs multiple times per week, there’s really no better way to enhance recovery than by using the Bow tool.

While there are other Bow-like tools on the market that are cheaper, they’re quite difficult to handle and people often complain about not being able to effectively use them on themselves.

The Bow’s anti-fatigue grip makes this the perfect tool for working on your own legs!

The Good

Increased length allows you to cover greater surface area.

Anti-fatigue grip makes this tool far easier to work with than alternatives.

Duel-bevelled edges allow you to scrape in multiple directions, making it super easy to use.

The Bad

This tool is fairly expensive compared to the smaller implements.

Best Muscle Scraping Kit

Stickon Muscle Scraping Tool Kit

Stickon Muscle Scraping Kit

If you’re just looking to get your feet wet with muscle scraping but aren’t sure which tool to buy, the 5 piece kit by Stickon is a great budget-friendly option.

Best Muscle Scraping Tool Kit For Beginners

One of the better entry-level muscle scraping options is to get a kit which allows you to practice using a variety of tools.

Each tool corresponds with its own body part/purpose and makes scraping more effective and less fatiguing for your hands.

Although these sets are quite cheap, the quality is still fairly high and you’ll definitely get results!

No, they’re not quite as good as the Sidekick tools, but they’re definitely still effective and are a great budget-friendly option.

The Good

A range of different instruments means you can select the perfect tool for the job and reduce fatigue.

Super affordable.

The Bad

Quality isn’t as high as the Sidekick tools.

Best Budget Tool

Sidekick Curve Tool

Sidekick Curve Tool

Made of stone, the Curve is Sidekick’s budget muscle scraping tool and is the perfect option for anyone who just wants to give muscle scraping a crack without investing a ton of money.

Best Budget Muscle Scraping Tool

The Curve is Sidekick’s most affordable muscle scraping tool, at about half the price of the Swerve.

It’s very similar to the Swerve/Echo in design, except that it’s made from stone as opposed to stainless steel.

This is typical of most traditional Gua Sha tools and it still produces all of the same muscle scraping benefits of a stainless steel tool.

Since this tool is made of stone, it’s quite a bit more fragile than the steel tools, so it’s easier to damage. Luckily Sidekick will replace it if you do accidentally break it!

The stone material is also porous, meaning bacteria can be embedded in the tool, which makes it slightly less hygienic than a steel tool. For that reason, the Curve is best for personal use.

The Good

Still produces a very effective stimulus, similar to the Swerve and Echo tools.

Duel-bevelled edges allow you to scrape in multiple directions, making it super easy to use.

Significantly more affordable than the stainless steel versions.

The Bad

Being made of stone, the Curve is quite a bit more fragile than the steel tools.

Stone is also porous, which reduces hygiene slightly, making the Curve suboptimal for therapists treating multiple clients.

Best For Professionals

Graston Technique Muscle Scraping Tools

Official Graston Technique Instruments

If you run a physical therapy practice and plan on treating multiple patients each week, the best possible muscle scraping experience you can get will be with the Graston Technique instruments.

Best Muscle Scraping Tools For Practitioners

These tools are super heavy-duty and produce noticeably better results than the cheaper alternatives.

Graston literally invented muscle scraping and so many people deliberately seek out therapists with Graston Technique certifications.

Along with this certification comes the 6 different instruments as part of a kit.

These instruments are absolutely beautifully designed and are the cream of the crop when it comes to IASTM tools.

They are pretty expensive though, so I don’t recommend them unless you’re a therapist who can write this off as a business expense.

The Good

Super heavy-duty tools of the highest imaginable quality.

Therapists often claim to get significantly better results using these tools compared to cheaper ones.

The Bad

Super expensive.

Best Lubricant

Graston Technique Emollient

Graston Soft Tissue Emollient

Graston also create one of the best emollients/lubricants for muscle scraping.

Best Muscle Scraping Emollient

There’s plenty of options when it comes to emollients for muscle scraping and many different lubricants will produce decent results.

I personally recommend the official Graston emollient because it doesn’t absorb into the patient’s skin as much as others do and it’s also odorless.

Because it doesn’t absorb into the skin, you don’t have to use as much, so even though it’s a little more expensive than some alternatives, it’ll last longer.

The Good

Doesn’t absorb into the skin, meaning a more pleasant experience for the user and it’ll also last longer.

Odorless.

The Bad

Slightly more expensive than alternatives.

Final Verdict?

For athletes looking to get their feet wet with muscle scraping, I’d recommend going for either the Sidekick Swerve or even the Bow tool if you’re planning on scraping your legs multiple times per week.

I think a muscle scraping kit is a bit unnecessary for at-home use, and either of the above two tools will do a fantastic job on virtually any body part.

For therapists, I’d recommend either the Sidekick Echo or the Stickon muscle scraping tool kit if you’re working with a large number of clients who require IASTM.

My Muscle Scraping Tool Testing & Review Process

I always make it my mission to be as comprehensive as possible with these product reviews so I can be as helpful as possible to my readers.

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the chance to personally test every one of these products, but I do have first hand experience with the Curve tool from Sidekick.

So in the interest of full transparency, I cannot yet speak about all of these muscle scrapers from first hand experience.

I found however that there wasn’t much good information on the internet pertaining to which muscle scraping tools are best, so I decided to write this article anyway, hoping some of you would still find it useful.

10+ Hours Of Research

I also did plenty of research while making this article which involved making a shortlist of about 15 tools based on preliminary research and then watching and reading performance reviews of each to narrow it down to just 7 tools.

The tools I selected were the ones that came up repeatedly as being excellent matches for both athletes as well as practitioners.

Continually Updating With New Products & Information

As I gain more experience using each of the tools on this list, I’ll be updating this article so that you know exactly how my feelings towards each product evolve over time.

I’m also constantly keeping an eye on new releases, so as soon as something else comes along that’s also great for muscle scraping, I’ll add it to this article.

Feel free to read more about my product testing standards and review process.

Muscle Scraping Tools That Didn’t Make The Cut

While researching this article, I came across a few other tools which I chose not to include in this roundup as I think there’s slightly better choices mentioned above.

Edge Muscle Scraping Tool

The Edge muscle scraping tool is another very popular option which has a very ergonomic grip, making it one of the better choices for therapists.

Edge Muscle Scraping Tool

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this tool for athletes planning on working on themselves, as the grip is really designed for the tool to be used on a patient.

Fasiq IASTM Tools

Fasiq also make some really high quality muscle scraping tools, both as individual pieces as well as kits.

Fasiq IASTM Tools

Their products are significantly more expensive than the Stickon muscle scraping kit we discussed earlier, but more affordable than the Graston Technique instruments.

What To Look For When Buying Muscle Scraping Tools

Before buying any muscle scraping tool, be sure to consider each of these aspects to ensure you get the right tool for your individual needs.

Design & Versatility

Muscle scraping tools come in a variety of shapes, each of which work better for certain muscle groups.

Tools like the Sidekick Curve/Swerve/Echo are designed to be used on virtually any part of the body, from the feet to the neck.

For larger muscle groups like the quads and hamstrings, you’ll want to select a larger tool like the Bow or even the Echo which are able to cover much more surface area.

Duel-Bevelled Edges

Not all muscle scraping tools come with duel-bevelled edges, but I prefer the ones that do because it massively increases the ease of use of the tool.

Duel-bevelled edges allow you to scrape in both directions whereas single-bevelled tools force the user to scrape in only one direction.

Each of the Sidekick tools come with duel-bevelled edges, which is one reason why I’m such a big fan of their products.

Muscle Scraping For Personal Use Or With Patients?

Are you planning on mainly muscle scraping yourself or working on clients/patients? There’s a few key differences here you should be aware of.

Grip

Athletes scraping themselves should select a tool that allows them to target a variety of muscle groups and hard-to-reach places.

Since they’re not scraping clients all day long, any grip/shape will probably get the job done.

Therapists treating a larger number of patients should consider going for anti-fatigue grips such as the ones featuring on the Sidekick Echo and Bow tools.

Materials

Not all muscle scraping/IASTM/Gua Sha tools are made of stainless steel and in fact a large number are made from stone.

Stone instruments (like the Sidekick Curve) are fine for personal use but shouldn’t be used by practitioners because the stone material is porous, meaning bacteria can embed itself in the tool, creating concerns around hygiene.

Quality & Durability

If you’re only muscle scraping on yourself a couple times per week, you probably don’t need to fork out thousands for an expensive set of muscle scraping tools.

Physical therapists who treat a large number of patients might want to invest in the Fasiq or Graston Technique instruments, however, as they produce far better results and will last forever!

Muscle Scraping Tools FAQ

Below I’ve answered a few of the most commonly asked questions surrounding muscle scraping tools.

Do muscle scraper tools work?

Muscle scraping tools definitely work and there’s plenty of research to back that up!

Be sure to check out my full article discussing the benefits of muscle scraping to get a better picture.

What can I use for muscle scraping?

You can use a huge variety of different tools for muscle scraping. Most popular are the stainless steel instruments I’ve discussed in this article, but people will often use stone tools (such as the Sidekick Curve).

You can even use the handle of a butter knife to muscle scrape, although I strongly suggest investing in a proper tool for best results.

Best muscle scraper for runners?

Runners will definitely benefit from any of the tools discussed in this article, however since they’ll primarily be working on the legs, I’d recommend the Sidekick Bow tool or the Eclipse as these are fantastic for the thighs and lower legs.

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Eric Richter

I'm Eric, a physiotherapist with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy from the University Of Manitoba. I have enjoyed the better part of a decade working with both amateur and professional athletes, weekend warriors, everyday people, and patients at hospitals to help them take control of their pain and reach their health goals.

Learn more about me...